A tale of two beggars

elephant-begging illustration
Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig via Compfight

There is an ancient story told in India of two beggars that lived in a forest. Though they lived close to each other in the forest, they never spoke. They were bitter enemies, each competing for their own territory for so many years that no one could remember when the argument started. Then one day, a raging fire broke out in the forest. This was frightening because one beggar was blind and the other had no legs. Both would surely die. Quickly, given no other solution in the face of death, the blind beggar found his way to the seeing beggar and made a proposition. The blind beggar would carry the legless beggar and using his sight, they could both survive the fire. Immediately, the seeing beggar knew this was the answer for their salvation. Working together, they easily survived, and better yet, realized the err of their ways all those years. Working alone could have cost them their lives.

Of course, this is not a story of beggars, but rather a parable of the division in all of us, between the heart and the mind. Mind has legs, it takes us everywhere, charging on but alas it is blind to the ultimate direction. Mind, no matter how smart it seems is often based in the past. It is simply a repository of what has already happened, in the past. Even mind-based imagination is simply a new presentation of old information. And thus, mind is blind to the future, blind to truth, blind to soul.

Heart is the one who sees in all of us. Heart is open. Consider a child crawling around completely open to discovery. Everything is new. Curiosity is its primary state. Brain scans show that theta waves are minimal before the age of 8 years old. These are the waves registered in cause and effect problem solving tasks. Children have not yet started activating their intellectual centers. Children are learning machines without the need for intellect. They are designed to absorb languages and everything else at a massively accelerated rate because they are open. The mind is not yet critical. The heart is seeing everything. Just watch how a child has imaginary friends, dreams of being an astronaut, loves everyone around them (unless parents teach them to be afraid). They see the future clearly and anything can be created. The little bodies and language are just a little awkward for them and thus we may discount their amazing insight. This baby though, heart open to see, can’t get very far without the mind, the legs to walk, run, and even build structures to reach for those stars.

We can notice the division within ourselves. We can feel our head up there and heart in the center of our chest. Notice whether they are talking much. Just ponder for a moment your heart seeing. You can imagine what it would be like to look out from the center of your chest. Imagine breathing in through your heart center and out through your solar plexus. Notice the subtle way things may look different when you connect with your body instead of only with the head. Consider your future, as if looking from your heart. How does it look now?

You may notice your mind is a bit more quiet during this exercise. The blind mind can get a little chatty when we rely on it to see the future, to see the people around us. The intellectually conditioned mind can be based in fear and protection. Of course it’s afraid. I would be too if I was blind and asked to do such a big job. I might even tell you “I’ll do it”, just so you can rely on me, and not admit I’m blind. But what if I new to call on the heart to see? What if heart and mind worked together as a team? What synergy would there be?

I like to offer my clients simple practices for major transformation. Maybe you’ll practice this month seeing and breathing through your heart. Let your heart give your mind directions and just notice how that works out.  It can be amazing what intuition can come from this child-like imagination. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. And please leave a comment telling us about your experience.

An Exercise

Sit quietly for 15 minutes and just visualize breathing in through your heart. See a stream of fresh air coming in and slowly exhale it through your solar plexus. It’s magic. You’ll see. But don’t do this every day for the rest of your life. You might be eternally happy. Try breathing through other parts of your body and notice the difference. Share this with other people you know.

Using your Inherent Excellence

Can we actually see and breathe out of the heart. I don’t know, but it works. Using our wonderful imagination to set focus on parts of our body shifts our experience and taps into different parts of the brain. In Neuro-Lingustic Programming (NLP), we understand that our entire neurology (brain and nervous system) affects our learning and sense of reality. A simple shift in thought process can quickly and permanently change our feelings, which change the actions we take. Recent embryo studies have also found that a single cell divides to become the brain and heart. Ancient people may have been right all along: we actually do think with our heart.


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